Five Minutes

Chapter 61

Disclaimer; I don't own the wizarding world of Harry Potter or any of the characters in it. I wish I did. But I don't.

Hello reader!

Here's chapter Sixty-One!

Hope you enjoy it!

Chapter Sixty-One

Lily was woken by a pounding in her head. It was like someone was banging on a drum, the ringing in her ears deafening her. In an attempt to block out the noise she moved her hand to cover her ear but was unsuccessful. The loud beating was still there. She opened her eyes, the light that was filling into the room blinded her so harshly she had to close them and open them again to give her a chance to adjust. When she opened them again and looked around at the room she was in, she had to wonder where she was for a moment. She couldn't remember anything which she thought was a good thing until she looked down and saw an arm which definitely wasn't hers over the top of her waist.. But she knew who's it was.

Like a lead balloon a horrible feeling dropped itself into the pit of her stomach. It was a mix of regret, shame and guilt and something else which she couldn't describe. She didn't know what she'd done but she needed too.

'James?' she whispered, tapping his arm where it was relaxed over her over the top of the covers of the bed, 'James?'

'Yeah?' James replied quietly after a couple of seconds, a break in his voice from the first word of the day.

Lily felt his warm breath tickle the nape of her neck through her hair. She turned over to face him and found that his head was extremely close to hers. His eyes were still closed, his glasses off, his hair a mess as it always was and, Lily couldn't help but notice, his chest was bare as he had no top on. The anvil that had settled itself in her stomach dropped down further.

'What happened?' she asked him nervously, dreading the answer.

'You woke me up.' James smirked, his eyes still closed. He hugged her closer into him using the arm that was relaxed over the dip in her waist.

'No.' Lily said.

'Yes.' James replied. He still had not opened his eyes.

'No.' Lily repeated, shuffling out of his hold and sitting up against the headboard of James' king size four poster bed. She was relieved to see that she still had her own top on even if it was strappy and kind of revealing. It was the top she wore under her jumper to keep warm, sort of like a vest. She had worn in all day yesterday. She wasn't sure if it was a good sign or not that she still had it on. So, with that heavy feeling still in the pit of her stomach she nervously asked, 'I mean…did anything…happen? Between us?'

James sighed. 'How could anything happen with him in the room?' he said, pointing lazily over to the other side of his bedroom as if he didn't care a great deal.

'Wha-?' Lily said, following his arm which was pointing loosely in the general direction of another king size four poster bed a short distance away. She saw a hand shoot up sluggishly up into the air and upon realising what was going on, she quickly pulled the covers of James bed up around her shoulders self-consciously.

'Morning.' she heard Sirius drawl tiredly through a yawn.

'Why is he in your room?' she whispered to James who was reaching over to his bedside table for his glasses.

'Our room.' Sirius corrected her as he sat up in his own bed, rubbing his eyes. He was also shirtless. Lily felt extremely uncomfortable sat in a room, in her boyfriend's bed with a revealing top on and with two topless boys. Safe to say she'd never been in this position before. She was sure she was going red.

'Seriously?' she said to James with raised eyebrows, determined to try and not let her embarrassment show. It wasn't easy. 'A place like this and you share a room?'

'Sirius gets night terrors.' James replied simply, putting his glasses on and also sitting up.

'No I don't!' Sirius replied defensively.

'Then why do I wake up to find you choking on your pillow?' James smirked.

'I thought it was a marshmallow…' Sirius mumbled, picking up said pillow and punching it feebly.

James chuckled but Lily wasn't laughing. She hesitated for a minute before taking a deep breath and looking at James anxiously. She had to know now. She couldn't wait any longer.

'James…' she said quietly for only him to hear.

James looked at her with a slight frown before realising what she must want to talk about. 'Ok.' he said to her before calling across to Sirius, 'Oi! Padfoot! Bugger off!'

'Charming!' Sirius said in a stroppy voice, throwing the pillow he had punched down on the floor, 'You know, I'd have thought you'd treat your best friend a lot better than this! I've stuck by you through thick and thin and-'

'I think Linda's making pancakes for breakfast.' James said in thought.

Sirius didn't need any more convincing than that. 'Awesome!' he said licking his lips hungrily, throwing his covers off of him, and walking out of the room. 'Don't do anything I wouldn't do.' he called back suggestively to James.

'Doesn't leave a lot.' James called after him with a laugh before turning back to Lily and grinning at her. 'Morning.' he said, leaning forwards and kissing her on the cheek.

Lily's stomach swooped. 'So what exactly happened?' she asked James when he withdrew from her, relaxing her hands from where they had been holding the sheets of the bed up to cover herself and her revealing top.

'You tried to take advantage of me.' James joked, trying to ease the tension she had, knowing what she must be thinking and feeling at this precise moment.

'No James I'm being serious.' Lily answered, in no mood to see the funny side of this at the minute. She just needed to know. 'I need to know exactly what happened between us last night. Did we…?

'Ok.' James said with a deep breath, crossing his legs and turning towards her, taking her hands reassuringly with a smile, 'I can promise you that nothing remotely related to actually having sex happened. The most we did was take shirts off…well you took shirts off. Mine than yours.'

Lily looked confusedly down to her own top which was still on her.

'I put it back on you after I cursed you.' James explained with another smile, glancing down at her revealing top and thinking back over what he had seen the previous night. His smile grew slightly.

Lily didn't notice and wasn't thinking about what James must have seen of her last night. Instead, she was focusing on one thing. 'You cursed me?' she asked with raised eyebrows.

'Yeah.' James said with a nonchalant shrug, 'It was the only thing I could think of to do.'

'Well…' she began, her heart pounding. She looked down at her fingers, twiddling her thumbs as her hair fell over her face. She was sure she was going red and, although she was relieved that she and James hadn't actually done anything, she was curious to know; 'Was that because you didn't want to?'

'No.' James said with a single breath and a uneasy laugh as he also looked down at Lily's hands, 'It was because you didn't want to.' he continued. 'Sure you were all fired up for it last night but you were drunk and you'd already told me earlier that day we'd have had to have been together a lot longer than three months for you to even consider sleeping with me.'

'I remember that.' Lily said with a roll of her eyes. She couldn't remember what had happened after Remus had arrived at the Leaky Cauldron but she knew everything that had happened before that. The argument with her dad, waiting for James, going back to James' house and seeing just exactly how much he was privileged with, how rude Sirius was to her for no apparent reason, having 'the talk' with James and finally, going to the Leaky Cauldron. She remembered all that she just couldn't remember what had happened afterwards.

'Wasn't sure if you would.' James laughed, running a hand through his hair, 'You were hammered. You had a lot to drink.'

'That explains the headache.' Lily muttered, rubbing her head where someone was beating some bongo drums loudly inside.

'I was kind of impressed.' James said with a nod of his head. And he was impressed. His girlfriend was able to stand the taste of firewhisky, something which his best friend was unable to do. It was impressive. 'Anyway,' he went on reaching out and taking her one of her hands which she was still twiddling in her hands. He then lifted her head by a forefinger under her chin, forcing her to look into her eyes so that she knew he was serious. 'I didn't want you to look back on our first time as if it was a mistake. When it does happen, I want you to be sure about it. And I'd want you to be sober so you could actually remember it too. But, believe me, you are extremely hard to resist.' he said with the hints of a smile around his mouth. 'Especially once your top was off.' he couldn't help but add, glancing down to her and checking her out, thinking about what he had seen making his heart start to pound.

'Really?' Lily asked, turning slightly pink, still not noticing James' wandering eyes. All she was thinking was that he had said 'when'. 'When it does happen'. He was so sure of himself and that they would get to that stage. Lily wasn't sure how she felt about it. All she knew is that it made her blush.

'Yeah.' James went on with a slight chuckle taking his forefinger away from her chin and tucking the hair that was falling over her face behind her ear. 'If it wasn't for your really bad pick-up lines I don't think I'd have been able to manage. And this morning would be a very different story.'

'Bad pick-up lines?' Lily queried wondering what on earth she had said.

'Yeah. 'I don't have to do what my dad wants' or 'my dad would kill us both' isn't exactly a great turn on.' James replied with a smirk making Lily go even redder.

'No I don't think it would be.' she said before hiding her head in her hands and saying, 'I'm so embarrassed!' her voice muffled through her palms.

'Don't be.' James smiled kindly. When Lily still didn't take her hands down from her face he laughed and said, 'Come here.' pulling her into his lap and hugging her from behind. 'You've got nothing to be embarrassed about.' he went on, kissing her temple before taking her hands down from her face and holding them in his, entwining their fingers together.

'Really?' Lily said, resting her head back on the warm skin of his bare chest and looking down at their hands, moving them together absentmindedly.

'Well…' James began with yet another smirk, 'You did snog Sirius right in front of me so I'd be embarrassed about that if I were you. It's only polite.'

'Oh no.' Lily said, her face dropping as she turned her head slightly to look at James. She stopped tangling their fingers together and let her hands just sit in his.

'Oh yes!' James laughed, his smirk growing.

Lily grimaced. 'I remember that.'

James narrowed his eyes at her disgusted expression. 'What's that face for?' he asked her curiously.

Lily paused and grimaced again. She turned back to look at their hands and sighed before saying, 'Let's just say you're a lot better a kisser than he is.'

James raised his eyebrows and nodded his head. 'Now that's gonna be fun to lord over him.' he grinned.

Lily slapped his hand in mock reprimand and shook her head. Trust James to think about bragging about such a thing before anything else. Never mind the actual fact that she had kissed someone else, his best friend nonetheless, just as long as he was a better snog than him.

Lily relaxed back into James, relieved that they hadn't done anything but loving the feel of him with his arms around her as she sat in his lap. She took a deep breath and felt encircled by the smell of him, the beech wood scent he carried with him. There, in his arms, she felt safe and secure, something she wouldn't have thought possible a couple of years ago. She smiled at the thought of this as she leant her head back onto his shoulder and closed her eyes. Her smile grew slightly as he kissed her cheek and began to gently trail kisses down to her neck to her collarbone as he had done in the kitchen of her own home before her dad had interrupted them. She felt as if she could sit there all day. But she knew she couldn't. She had to go home today and face her parents, her dad especially. She had to get it over and done with. So she sighed and opened her eyes ready to tell James that they should probably get up but she was distracted by something. She frowned.

'I have a question.' she announced to James.

'Sure.' James said between kisses on her neck, not wanting to stop for anything, loving the taste of her, 'Shoot.'

'Why are there six holes in the canopy of your bed?' she asked him.

For this, James stopped. He followed her gaze up to the canopy of his four poster bed where, sure enough, there were six holes. He laughed. 'Funny story…' he said.

Severus was waiting for a signal. He and some other death eaters including a ferocious werewolf by the name of Fenrir Greyback had successfully attacked a muggle street in Chelsea, London the day before. It had been a massacre. Fenrir Greyback, still in his human state, had brutally mauled six muggles, two of which were children. Severus had felt sick at the sight of their mangled bodies but didn't stop and stare for long as he had gone to torture a small family of muggles in one of the larger houses at the end of the street. There were screams and people crying as no one came to their rescue. Severus was disgusted by what was happening but yet, somehow proud to be a part of it. All of those muggles just reminded him of the dad he had hated and Lily's sister and he just wanted payback. So he did it and after a while, his mind became blind to the wrong he was doing and it seemed right. And now he was waiting for a signal.

The signal was to come in the form of a message. It was a copy of the Daily Prophet he was waiting for. If news of their recent exploits was splashed across the front page, they would know they had gotten through. Severus would know that Voldemort was being taken more seriously than ever before and he would know what the wizarding world was intending to do about it, what they thought they could do about it. Really, the only plausible course of action Severus could see for the wizarding world now was to bow out to Voldemort's power and let him run things the way they should be. But he doubted that would happen straight away. They'd have to work more for that.

He was waiting in the park he and Lily used to visit when they were younger. He never expected to see her there anymore. Besides, the park was very much abandoned now. The swing sets were rusting and the paint on the roundabout was peeling. There was graffiti on the climbing frame and the slide. It looked a mess now, a mess which wasn't helped by the light frost that covered the tips of the grass and the muddy puddles that were dotted about. Nobody came to the park anymore which was what made it the perfect spot for Severus to sit against the bark of a large tree all on his own in his own thoughts. It also made the perfect spot for apparation.

Severus heard the familiar crack of apparation and, immediately through reflex, stood up and took his wand out. He was hidden behind the trunk of the tree he had been leant against and, slowly and cautiously, peered around to see who it was. When he saw who it was, the first thing he wanted to do was send out curses using his wand which he was gripping tightly in his right hand. But he didn't. He just stayed behind that tree and forced himself to watch the exchange in front of him. This wasn't the way he wanted to see Lily Evans in this park again.

'You probably shouldn't come back to the house.' Lily said to James, wrapped in his scarf and his arms, her arms around his neck.

'Probably not.' James laughed, taking one of the hands that was wrapped around Lily's waist to brush some deep red hair out of her face which was being whipped around by the bitter winter wind. 'Your dad would probably kill me.'

'Not kill you.' Lily said innocently, 'Just do some serious damage.'

'Great.' James replied with a sarcastic roll of is eyes.

'You can't tell me you're scared of my dad?' Lily said with a laugh, bringing one of her hands down to bang lightly on his chest in a teasing manner.

'Not scared just…wary.' James answered, taking the hand she had just thumped on his chest in his, his other arm still circled around her waist. 'He's very tall. And he hates me.'

'Yeah he does.' Lily grimaced, 'But I've still got to face him! And it's all your fault!'

'Did I ask you to come and stay at mine or did you beg?' James said in mock thought, a laugh in his voice.

'I didn't beg!' Lily said with a small gasp, hitting him on the chest again only this time with both of their hands.

'You kind of did though.' James laughed before he kissed her.

Severus' skin started to crawl as he watched them in their intimate moment. A scowl appeared on his face as James Potter touched his Lily's face and she rested her hand on his chest. He tightened his grip around his wand, his knuckles going white. He didn't release his hold until Lily stopped kissing James, and that took a good two minutes.

'I'll see you back at school then.' James said against her lips, his forehead resting on hers before adding, 'If you don't write to me begging to stay at mine again.' with a chuckle.

Lily narrowed her eyes at him. She took herself out of his hold. 'I'll leave now then shall I?' she asked, beginning to walk away, only to have James grab her wrist and pull her back for yet another kiss.

Severus sneered, his blood boiling. He was sure that James Potter knew he was here and he was doing this on purpose. Nobody needs to kiss another person that much just to say goodbye. He was doing it to tick Severus off. Or so Severus thought anyway. Really James had no idea he was there. Yet.

'Bye.' Lily said when she finally did pull away from him to leave.

'Bye.' James said, smiling after her, his hands in his pockets his back to Severus. 'Have a good Christmas!' he called after her to which she turned around and smiled at, keeping on walking. She turned a corner and she was gone, but James was still watching where she had disappeared with a sigh. At this point, Severus, his hand still clamped around his wand, came out from behind the tree.

'You don't deserve her.' he snarled at James' back.

James, recognising the venom soaked voice sighed and turned around. 'Thanks.' he said, his hands still in his pockets, 'I'll tell her that.'

'She doesn't really like you.' Severus stated more for himself than James. It was obvious Lily liked him. She was going out with him. But for Severus, saying this made him feel better and he could almost convince himself of the fact.

'Really?' James said in a bored voice, running one of his hands through his hair and messing the back up, 'Because last night would state otherwise.'

'What have you done?' Severus asked, his eyes widening and his stomach dropping at the obvious insinuation James was tossing out to torture his mind. He couldn't believe it. Lily wouldn't do such a thing. She was still innocent. James Potter could not have stolen her innocence. She couldn't have given herself to him. Could she?

'Come on Snivellus.' James smirked, knowing what was running through the slime-balls head and making know attempt to correct it. After all, he was the one who had planted the image there. So instead, he walked forwards and passed him saying, 'I'm not gonna kiss and tell.' enjoying the sick colour of puce that Severus was turning.

Severus walked quickly after James, who had his hands back in his pockets as they so often were, as he turned down a small dark and dank alley which led off of the park. It was shrouded and covered over by over grown trees blocking most of the winter sunlight.

'She hates you.' Severus said quickly.

James carried on walking. 'Stop following me Snivellus.'

'She's always hated you.'

'Stalking's a crime you know.'

'She'll never love you.' Severus spat.

'Well I guess only time will tell.' James sighed, turning around to tell Severus to go away once and for all only he was rudely backed into the wet wall of the alleyway by Severus who held his forearm over his throat and shoulders and pressed his wand into his chin. He had a look of complete loathing on his face as his black greasy curtained hair fell forwards. He was breathing heavily through his hooked nose and sneering into James' face, (who seemed undeterred), and pushed his wand harder into James' chin. He could do it. He knew he could. But something stopped him and he couldn't explain it. All he could see though was Lily's disappointed and hurt face and he knew didn't want to see that in real life.

'Ok this has gone way past your standard stalking now.' James said, his eyes looking down to Severus' wand and trying his hardest not to just reach for his own wand and curse him which he could easily do. But Lily wouldn't want him to. She wouldn't want him to hex Severus Snape but that didn't mean he couldn't torture his mind with the fact that Lily was now his girlfriend, something which he knew Severus despised.

So, with an arrogant smirk James said, 'Sorry to disappoint you Snivellus but I have a girlfriend. And her hair is nowhere near as greasy as yours. In fact, it's grease free. Believe me.' He paused and his smirk grew wider, his cocky ego showing in his hazel eyes as he ended with, 'I think you know her actually?'

Severus roughly pressed his arm into James' throat to push himself away from the boy he despised. His wand was still in his hand but James Potter just seemed amused by this, as if Severus was no threat to him. He hadn't even taken his own wand out to defend himself. Severus raised his arm and swished his wand yelling, 'Sectumsempra!' out at James the curse shooting forth from the tip of his wand.

James quickly ducked the curse that Severus had sent straight to his face. He stood up and looked around to see the wooden fence where Severus' curse had hit. He turned back to Severus' with raised eyebrows, his hands still in his pockets. 'Now that's just not nice.' he said simply.

Severus tried again and raised his wand, waving it in a large gesture to ensure his curse was powerful. But as soon as he had started to move his arm, James, with his lightning fast reflexes thanks to countless hours of Quidditch, reached into his back pocket and took out his own wand. As Severus began his curse again, 'Sectum-' James gave a lazy flick of his wrist and sent out a non-verbal hex through his own wand to Severus which took his ankle and flipped him round in the air, cutting him off so that he couldn't complete his spell and dropping him to the pavement with a heavy thud.

Severus stayed down for a couple of seconds before trying to get up but James wouldn't let him. He moved his wand in a swiping action and it took Severus' feet off of the floor and sent him thudding back down to the ground. One more time Severus attempted to stand but one more time James flicked his wrist and Severus fell down, banging his head on the pavement and knocking him out.

James smirked. He had forgotten the feeling kicking Severus Snape's, hell, anyone else's arse in a duel gave him. He threw his wand up, spinning it into the air catching it smoothly, showing off to no one in particular, and put it back into his back pocket before disapparating with an effortless turn. He left Severus Snape lying on the floor out cold.

James had been amused by Severus' wand in his hand ready to attack. He had been amused because, at the end of the day, it was funny to think that Severus believed he could beat him in a duel. He couldn't. He never could.

Christmas had been and gone. It was January the third and Lily was sat on the last train back to school with Hestia and Alice in their own compartment. They were talking about what they had done over the Christmas holidays. Alice had just had a quiet family Christmas at home but Frank had gone over to hers on Boxing Day. Hestia had gone to Aspen with her parents which Lily was extremely jealous of because she had never been out of the country. She wanted to go to Aspen. They spent an hour talking before the attention was turned to Lily and what she had done over the Christmas break.

'So what'd you do Lily?' Alice asked her.

Lily took a deep breath. 'Well, err, let's see…' she began thinking maybe she'd just tell the facts of her Christmas break. 'I went home when I wasn't supposed to. Crashed my sister's wedding. Introduced James to my parents-'

'As?' Hestia asked immediately.

'He introduced himself as my boyfriend.' Lily said, recalling that the last Hestia would have heard would be that she and James were still refusing to use labels on each other. After the Christmas break she had just had, that seemed a long time ago now.

'So you won.' Hestia stated with a knowing smile.

'It was never about winning Hestia.' Lily said with a shake of her head. Hestia had thought it was all to do with power but it never was. It was just her and James being stubborn.

'But he's your boyfriend now?' Hestia said with bobbing eyebrows.

'Yes.' Lily said with a sigh, a smile and a slight blush, 'James Potter is my boyfriend.' She paused and blinked with a small frown replacing her blush, 'Now there's a sentence I'd never thought I'd say.' she said.

'What else happened in your holidays?' Alice asked, returning them to their conversation.

Lily carried on with the facts. 'Well mum, who loved James invited him to stay but dad, who hated him, didn't. Mum got her way in the end but dad forced him to sleep on the couch even though Petunia's bed was right there.' she said.

'So was yours.' Hestia put in suggestively, not knowing what was coming next in Lily's fact file story.

Lily narrowed her eyes at her but carried on. 'The next day Dad caught James kissing me so James left. Dad and I then had a huge fight because he wanted me to stop seeing James.' she said before reeling of the next few specifics quickly to get them over with. 'I stormed out. Went to stop at James'. We all went out. I got drunk. Snogged Sirius Black. And then I almost slept with James.'

'What?!' Alice and Hestia both squealed loudly at her story leaning forwards in shock.

'You snogged Sirius Black?!' Alice questioned with wide eyes. Lily had one of the most popular boys in school as her boyfriend, not to mention one of the handsomest. But Sirius Black, as handsome as James Potter was, was far hotter. So not only was Lily going out with one of 'the fit ones' she had also snogged a 'fitter one' who was her boyfriend's best friend. This was not the book smart Lily Alice knew and it shocked her.

'Forget that!' Hestia said brushing that part of Lily's story away as if it was nothing, 'You slept with James Potter! As in, you had sex with him?'

'No.' Lily said simply, shaking her head and going redder but knowing that she wanted to talk about this with her friends. Who else could she talk about it to after all? 'I tried but I didn't.' she went on.

'Why?' Hestia asked as if Lily was crazy for not sleeping with James. Then her face dropped. 'Oh Merlin.' she said, 'Did he have lady parts or something?'

'What?' Lily laughed in disbelief at Hestia's crazy suggestion, 'No!'

'Is he gay?' Hestia whispered.

'No!' Lily said.

'Then what happened?' Hestia wondered in confusion.

'If you shut up I'll explain!' Lily said a tad snappily widening her eyes at Hestia who backed off.

So Lily went on to explain everything. She told them, her two best friends in the world, the only two she would trust with this information, about James' first meeting with her father and his instant dislike of him. She then told them about her dad catching her and James in an intimate moment and James being forced to leave because of how awkward things were. Then came the sex talk and the fight she had had with her dad and how she had stormed out to which Hestia gave a small cheer and a 'go Lily' because she always thought it was hilarious when Lily lost her temper. She used to think it was ever so funny when she used to shout at James Potter every day for ticking her off.

Still, Lily went on and told the story of how she stormed out on her father and went to stop at James'. Then she told them how she had spoken to him about not being ready and how kind he had been about it all saying they could wait until she decided it was time. Then she jumped ahead to the next bit she remembered. She informed them how James had filled her in the next morning on how she had gotten drunk and tried to take advantage of him. How he had stopped her by cursing her so that she wouldn't do what she had already told him she didn't want to do just yet and then how embarrassed she had become, especially when he had told her of her drunken kiss with Sirius Black. When she had finished her story, her friends were at a loss with words. Finally, Alice spoke.

'At least he was kind about it.' Alice said with a small half shrug. She wouldn't have thought James Potter, who had wanted Lily for ages, would be able to wait.

'He was very good with me.' Lily said with a remembering smile. She hadn't seen him in just over two weeks so as she thought of him, faint butterflies flew around in her stomach. She moved past it though and turned to her friends to get their opinions. 'I just think to do something like that you should be ready. In love.' she said.

'I agree.' Hestia said thoughtfully, not realising she would have felt that way, especially after the insinuations she had made to Lily earlier and how much of a fool she thought she was for not sleeping with James. Still, she thought Lily was right. It would mean more if you were in love. And Lily obviously wasn't in love with James.

'Me too.' Alice agreed, 'I was.'

'So you and Frank..?' Lily began, not finishing her question as the end was obvious. Not to everyone though.

'Had sex?' Hestia finished bluntly for Lily.

'Hestia!' Lily reprimanded.

'What?' Hestia replied in a high pitched voice before returning to normal volume and saying, It's just a word Lily! Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex!'

At that moment the three girls' eyes were caught by a shadow that suddenly filled their compartment. Simultaneously they turned to the glass sliding door and saw Sean McEvoy, Hestia's boyfriend, hovering deciding whether or not to come in. In the end he walked away, turning a bit red in the face, as was Hestia inside the compartment.

'That'll teach you.' Lily said with a smirk, a habit she had picked up from James.

Hestia stuck her tongue out at her petulantly before turning back to Alice to ask, 'So have you?'

'Yes.' Alice answered.

'What was it like?' Hestia continued.

'It was amazing.' Alice smiled.

'How many times have you done it?' Hestia went on quizzing Alice.

'Hestia!' Lily said after her last question trying to stop her best friend interrogating Alice about this personal matter.

'It's just a question!' Hestia replied with wide eyes, not knowing what she'd done wrong.

Alice saw no shame in answering Hestia's questions and simply said, 'Three.' turning their conversation back to its main subject.

'Only three times?' Hestia queried as if this was the strangest thing she'd heard through her whole life. 'Is he bad at it or something?' she carried on.

'No.' Alice said with a frown before explaining, 'We did it twice at the end of the summer holidays and once over this Christmas when he came round. Never at Hogwarts. There are rules against it.'

'Why not find somewhere in Hogsmeade?' Hestia suggested.

'Because that's tacky Hestia.' Alice sighed.

Lily had been rather silent through Alice and Hestia's conversation about Alice's sex life, (apart from the occasional reprimand to Hestia). She wasn't bothered about how it was, how many times Alice had done it or when. She was only wondering one thing.

'When did you know you were ready?' she asked, wondering if there was a sign or something. Some magical feeling or something written in the stars. It was a very romantic way of looking at things but she had no idea. She simply didn't know what it felt like to be in love and seeing as that was the only way she would consider sleeping with James, she didn't know whether she was ready.

'Just did.' Alice shrugged before saying reassuringly to Lily, 'You'll just know.'

Lily nodded her head slightly. All she could think of was that if she didn't know if she loved James she obviously didn't. She hadn't wanted to sleep with him just yet, but maybe that was a different step all together. She liked him a lot. The way he smelt. His sense of humour. His generosity and kindness. The way he looked. She really did like him but was she in love with him? She didn't think she was. 'Well I'm not ready.' she announced to her friends.

'Not ready for what?' James said hearing her last remark as he opened the compartment door and closed it behind him.

'Hi.' Lily said simply. Butterflies erupted in her stomach at the sight of him. Her palms began to sweat and her heart beat sped up. All of a sudden, her mouth became dry. Her stomach swooped again as he smiled at her.

'Hey.' he said, flopping down next to her and putting his arm around her shoulders. He pulled her in and kissed the top of her head trough her hair.

Lily breathed in that beech wood scent, the best smell in the world to her at that precise moment as she hadn't realised how much she had missed him. It was extremely odd to her. Two or more weeks away from him and her body was reacting like it used to do when she first realised she liked him the previous year. They do say absence makes the heart grow fonder but still, wasn't this just a tad too much? Still, she was certain it wasn't love.

'What are you doing here?' she asked him, loving the feeling of his heavy arm around her, a feeling that she was sure was written across her face as Alice was smiling back at her and Hestia was rolling her eyes.

'Going back to school.' James joked with a smirk down at her.

That smirk. Almost as good as the messy black hair and the hazel eyes, framed by round rimmed glasses. Lily shook herself out of her James filled thoughts and focused on the James in front of her. 'I mean here.' she said, gesturing around the compartment which consisted solely of her, him, Hestia and Alice.

'Ah.' James sighed, resting his head back on the seat in a sign of clear frustration, 'Sirius was pissing me off so I thought I'd come and see you.' he said.

Lily had no idea what Sirius had done to annoy James but she had a feeling that it had something to do with her. Even though she hadn't seen James since he dropped her off in the park a couple of weeks ago, she had written to him and in every letter he sent back there were clear undertones of his annoyance with Sirius. And in every reply, James' irritation with Sirius had always stemmed back to Sirius' bother with Lily. Only Lily had no idea what she'd done to upset him. All she knew was that when she had been at James' over the Christmas break and even before, a few days after Sirius found out about them, he had become rather sullen and rude towards her. She didn't know why.

'How sweet.' Hestia said sarcastically, 'Second choice.'

James looked at her with a smiling frown and a nonchalant shake of his head, brushing her comment aside whilst Lily silently motion to Hestia to shut up for she was sure that she would go onto say something along the lines of 'second choice after she almost gives herself to you.'. She didn't want her to say that. She didn't want James to know that she had discussed their personal business with her friends. He was a very proud, arrogant, ego-centred person along with being rather private when it came to personal matters, only telling the people he trusted the most and sometimes not even then. The only thing he had never been private about was how he felt about Lily. He would tell the world that if he had the chance. But he would never tell them what he did with her.

'What aren't you ready for?' he asked her.

'School.' Lily lied quickly, 'I've not changed into my robes yet.'

'Well we've got ages left yet so I wouldn't worry about it too much.' James answered, believing Lily's lie.

'Yeah.' Lily smiled unsurely. She never liked to lie. She hated being lied to as well.

'I'm hungry.' James declared to the girls before turning to Lily and saying, 'Wanna come and find the trolley with me?'

'Err…' Lily began. It was only finding the trolley. She wouldn't be abandoning her friends too long for James, something she knew Hestia wouldn't like. 'Yeah sure.' she said.

As soon as James got his reply he stood up, took Lily's hand, dragged her up too and led her out of the compartment. Trailing her behind him, his hand still in his and receiving a couple of glances as people remembered the big gossip from before they left, James led Lily down the train. Very suddenly though, he stopped, opened a compartment door and pulled her into it. He closed the door behind him.

'I thought we were going to find the trolley.' Lily stated, standing facing James with her back to the window and the fields they were passing as the Hogwarts Express chugged rhythmically, speeding down the tracks.

'We are. I just wanted to talk to you first.' James said with a lowered voice to make sure no one else could hear him.

To Lily, he looked serious and she couldn't help but think, see. Private person. 'Ok.' she said warily, 'What about?' suddenly she felt very nervous and the worst thoughts began to occur to her. Thoughts of break ups and other girls and scandals. But what he said was none of the above and if it was, it was more likely the last one.

'Well, I think that, because you know how much this school wants to find some sort of gossip about us, we should just keep what happened at my house between us.' he said, 'I've already told Sirius to shut his mouth about what he knows so hopefully he won't be a problem. I just think it might be for the best you know?'

Lily felt relieved but also a little bit guilty. She had already told her friends. But they wouldn't tell anyone anyway. 'Yeah ok.' she said.

'Cool.' James smiled, taking her hand again and opening the compartment door, 'Let's go find the trolley.'

Thanks for reading!

Update on 22nd June


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